Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory revealed for the first time what Europa’s glow could look like, and what it might reveal about the composition of ice on its surface. Put simply, various salty compounds react differently to the radiation and emit their own unique glimmer. Without at telescope, this glow would look sometimes slightly green, slightly blue or white and with varying degrees of brightness, depending on what material it is. Read more for a video and additional information.
The research team used a spectrometer to separate the light into wavelengths and connect the distinct “signatures,” or spectra, to different compositions of ice. What they discovered was that incorporating those salts – sulfate (Epsom salt) and sodium chloride (table salt) – into water ice under Europa-like conditions and blasting it with radiation produces a glow.
- Powerful refractor telescope: The Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ is a powerful and user-friendly refractor telescope with fully coated glass optics, a sturdy yet lightweight frame, two eyepieces, a red dot finder scope, and an adjustable-height tripod.
- High-quality 70mm optics: Our Celestron telescope features a powerful, fully coated 70mm glass optic objective lens. Erect image optics allow you to observe celestial objects at night and terrestrial targets like wildlife and landscapes during the day.
- Quick setup & lightweight frame: This telescope for adults features a lightweight frame and a panning handle with Alt-Az control for smooth and accurate pointing. Setup is quick and easy, with no tools required.
- Included accessories: We’ve included two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm), an erect image star diagonal, a travel tripod, and a red dot finder scope. Download our BONUS Starry Night Basic Edition astronomy software for interactive sky simulation.
- Unbeatable warranty and customer support: Buy with confidence from the world’s No 1 telescope brand, based in California since 1960. You’ll also receive a 2-year warranty and unlimited access to technical support from our team of US-based experts.
We were able to predict that this nightside ice glow could provide additional information on Europa’s surface composition. How that composition varies could give us clues about whether Europa harbors conditions suitable for life,” said JPL’s Murthy Gudipati, lead author of the work published Nov. 9 in Nature Astronomy.